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Friends fear for 'frail' Bert Newton as his health detiorates

The TV legend rarely leaves his Melbourne home as he continues to battle a debilitating condition.

When Bert Newton celebrated his 81st birthday last week, his wife Patti, daughter Lauren and the five grandchildren he adores were there to brighten up the day for their beloved Poppy and count their blessings.
The famed former TV host's health has sharply declined in the past three months, leaving close friends extremely worried about Bert, who has been struggling to overcome a form of anaemia so severe it can leave him unable to stand up.
"He is very weak, very frail and he's ailing at an alarming rate," revealed one family friend. "Patti doesn't even like to leave him alone for more than a couple of hours. She's been out of her mind with worry for weeks. That's the real reason she didn't go to the TV WEEK Logies recently, she couldn't bear to leave his side."
The severe form of anaemia Bert suffers from – a condition where there's a decrease in red blood cells, which lowers the body's ability to carry oxygen to its tissues – has left him a shell of his former self.
"It plays havoc on his health – he gets dizzy spells and he can't stand for long," says the friend, adding the showbiz legend rarely leaves his home in Hawthorn East due to fears over his condition.
"Patti is worried about her beautiful Bert. I don't think she can imagine life without him."
Patti can't imagine life without her "beautiful Bert," says an insider. (Image: Instagram @pattinewtonofficial)

Health struggles

Bert has suffered anaemia since he underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery in 2012.
Two years ago friends feared they could lose him when he was admitted to hospital with his third bout of pneumonia, and anaemia. Bert confirmed he had been given "quite a bit of blood and iron" during that frightening week in hospital.
"I think he's really struggled since then," says another showbiz mate. "He's not in good health and he hasn't been for a long time. People think anaemia is a relatively minor thing, but in Bert's case it's been crippling.
"With such a horrible flu going round, we're all hoping Bert doesn't come down with pneumonia again. He's in no condition to fight it."
Bert was admitted to hospital with a third bout of pneumonia in 2017. (Image: Instagram @pattinewtonofficial)
Friends hope Bert and Patti's son Matthew, who relocated to the US in 2012 after a string of assault allegations and a stint in rehab, will bring his fiance Catherine Schneiderman home to meet
his famous dad.
"I know Bert worries about Matthew, and even though he understands his need to build a life away from Australia, and he's happy in New York, he would dearly love to see him," says the family friend. "It's been seven years since Matthew moved, and everyone's hoping he will get to Melbourne soon."
WATCH: Matthew Newton talks about his troubled past. Post continues after video...
Fortunately Bert has his daughter Lauren – who lives around the corner from her parents – visiting every day, often with her children, Sam, 11, Eva, 10, Lola, seven, Monty, three, and six-month-old toddler Perla.
"They call him Poppy, and Bert loves them dearly," says the friend.
"But he's pretty limited in what he can do. These days he's nearly always sitting in his favourite armchair, watching rather than taking an active part in what the kids are doing, because even walking short distances can tire him out."
"These days he's nearly always sitting in his favourite armchair." (Image: Instagram @pattinewtonofficial)
Friends are hoping and praying that Bert can bounce back, like he has so many times before, but they're frightened at the rapid rate of his decline in recent weeks.
"I'm hoping he surprises all – again," the family friend says. "We've almost lost him several times, but he keeps fighting even when others have feared the worst. I just haven't seen him quite this frail before."

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